More than 30% of the websites runs on WordPress and more than 80% of the websites are not as fast as they can be. Either they are poorly built and use poor code, plugins, unoptimised images or use slow hosting provider. Slow website can cause in dropping of the traffic, impact SEO, bad impression on users with bad user experience and for people who are selling things on the website may get impacted dropping conversion rate as in the faster world nobody wants to wait more than a second to load your web page.
Hiring right people to build WordPress website can help you with these problems by using right theme, plugins or building custom theme that suits the specific requirements and functionalities.
With more than 7 years of experience in WordPress development we have gathered few important points to speed up the already built website or new website you want to build.
1. Choose correct Hosting Provider
The most important thing in speeding up the website is choosing the right hosting provider according to your website traffic. There are various WordPress hosting provider like Bluehost, Siteground, Godaddy, WPEngine etc.. however we found that Siteground seems to a good fit if you don’t want to spend a lot on hosting with great performance. Siteground provides different plans according to the usage, we found it cost effective in comparison with others. WPEngine is dedicated WordPress hosting provider with a different environments like development, staging and production which is great if higher hosting cost is not a problem.
2. Remove unused Plugins and Themes
A great team will never leave unused plugins and themes on website. To speed up the website it is necessary to remove the unused resources specially plugins, because WordPress looks for plugins each time the site gets hit which causes extra work and results in slowness of the site. I also recommend to update the outdated plugins and themes for security and performance reasons.
3. Use Cache Plugin
4. Audit your Website on GTmetrix, Lighthouse and Google Page Speed Insights
GTMetrix, Lighthouse, and Google page speed insights are great tools to identify the bottleneck in speeding up the website, there are various suggestions these tools provide which may need an expert developer to fix but it tells what are the areas to improve.
5. Use Optimised Images
There are various plugins available to optimise the already uploaded images like Smush however we recommend that optimised images should be uploaded, which can be done through Photoshop or various image optimising tools from the internet like TinyPNG.
6. Lazy Loading For Images
Images play a vital role in website performance, lazy loading of images can improve performance significantly as most heavy assets on any page are images and if you don’t request them at initial loading you can save a lot.
7. Optimise Database
WordPress provides a lot of things to make the site owners’ life easy and for that it keeps even the deleted data and old version of the posts in the database so at some point if you want to restore, it pulls from database, however as the data grows it starts impacting the database performance so unused data must be removed to improve the database performance. There are few things that you can delete which can improve your website performance drastically if you have tons of posts, spam comments and trashed items.
- Delete/disable revisions
- Remove spam/unapproved comments
- Remove trashed items
- Remove unused metadata of posts
Optimised website is as important as its design, users stay more on website that loads fast even in slow internet speed. Following things from start and carefully can improve website speed drastically. I hope this article can help website owners as well as developers to speed up their websites. If you have suggestions or any question please mention in comment, I will be glad to answer.